Develop and Leverage Employee Strengths – On Any Budget

Develop-Employee-StrengthsOne of the questions I am frequently asked is how to develop and leverage employee strengths on a limited budget. It’s really quite doable; most employees want to get better at what they do, to be stronger contributors, and more qualified to advance to greater responsibilities.

I have found the most productive and effective organizations, the ones that have the most engaged and creative people, are the ones that have a culture focused on the strengths of their employees. The emphasis is on what people can do, not on what they can’t do. None of this happens by itself, but only through the living example and specific direction of the primary leader. These are leaders who have the philosophy that strengths are a foundation in everything their organization attempts to do.

Such a culture invests in its people, encouraging and rewarding the use of strengths. Leaders:

  • Create programs to discover and track the strengths of your employees
  • Offer training and teaching experiences continuously
  • Establish a team structure to allow people to maximize and share their strengths

In-house training programs are an effective and budget friendly tool. Offer opportunities for employees to take on the role of trainer or instructor, and share what they know. It raises the candidacy of people for potential advancement or involvement in more complex projects.

Trust people to apply themselves and be stretched beyond their comfort zone; they’ll meet challenges and find new solutions.

Assess performance not just on quantifiable results, but on the effectiveness of personal development—how well strengths are used, and how new ones are developed.

Leaders who focus on strengths often coach their people directly, cultivating more talents and strengths. Setting up a system of internal coaching is also a powerful way to enhance and develop strengths, build networks, and increase collaboration. Teach communication skills, where strengths get enhanced and used to connect people and forge a spirit of unity.

Leaders who instill a mindset of helping one another get the greatest benefits from the strengths of their people, where they feel fulfilled and valued. Applying a collective focus on peoples’ strengths can fashion a culture that will boost your business better than any other approach.

What do you think? How are you developing and leveraging employee strengths? I’d love to hear from you.  Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.


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